How do you pump agricultural water for the crops and critters?

  • How do you pump agricultural water for the crops and critters?

    Posted by BiggKidd on December 1, 2023 at 4:33 pm

    Water pumping has been a source of problems around here ever since I moved here. First it has to come from the creek 175 feet below the fields. Second it has to travel about 2000 linear feet to get to the fields. I’ve tried a number of various pumps over the years. Third we need a fair amount of water just for the cows not to mention the other critters and the crops. So we need something that can pump at least 20 GPM and 50 would be better. Just bought a new roller pump less than two years ago and it blew apart a few weeks ago. Pumps with that kind of flow and enough pressure to get it there are NOT cheap!
    This time I’m upping my game of course this means nearly an entirely new build. I’ve been using a Honda GC 160 to power the pump. Sadly that’s not going to be enough engine for the new pump I ordered last night. It’s an Ace FMC-150. It can use 10hp at max pressure and volume. So I’m going to couple it with a 13 hp Honda clone I’ve had sitting around. They claim it can do up to 130 psi and up to 135 GPM through a 1 1/4 pipe. Unfortunately I only have 1 inch pipe so I’ll have to neck it down to that which will restrict the flow a fair amount. If I can reliably get 20+ GPM to the field for more than two years it’ll be a win. I must admit I am hoping for more like 40-50 GPM and that it lasts until long after I expire! lol It’ll take about 75 psi just to get the water to the field so that should leave me with around 50 psi of working pressure to run sprinklers and such.

    Hopefully this will be the last big pump I ever need to buy. But just incase it doesn’t work out as planned I am hoping you all have other options I’ve missed.

    BiggKidd replied 3 months ago 5 Members · 23 Replies
  • 23 Replies
  • Hanidu-Farms

    Member
    December 1, 2023 at 4:49 pm

    That’s a tall order!

    • BiggKidd

      Member
      December 1, 2023 at 4:54 pm

      Yes it is and it’s been an ongoing problem for over 15 years now.

  • MartHale7

    Member
    December 1, 2023 at 4:52 pm

    Water collection off roofs can help if you have rainfall in your area. I have created 3 fish ponds to catch water. I added gutters to catch rain from my roof.

    Digging a pond or lake also could be an option, if you put it above grade, you can use solar to fill the pond. Or you can swipe one of those swimming pools that people get rid of and fill it with water then use as needed…

    Just some ideas.

    • BiggKidd

      Member
      December 1, 2023 at 5:03 pm

      We collect rain water for the household use and will be adding more collection sites anytime we add a roof somewhere!

      I’ve started working on a pond site. It only gets run off to fill. BUT it has been full for over a year even though the pond is no where close to being finished. Still a lot of digging and damn building to go along with quite a few more trees that need to come down before it’ll actually be finished and ready to use. Right now it’s maybe 60-70 feet across and 12 feet deep. I’m shooting for roughly 175X100 oblong and 20 plus feet deep when it’s finished. But that’s likely a few years down the road. The older I get the slower I move!

      As of now I use a 1500 gallon tank and several IBC totes for water storage and catchment.

  • BiggKidd

    Member
    December 4, 2023 at 5:05 pm

    Grrr this pump fiasco is killing me!

    Because they don’t actually have the pump in stock they said 6 weeks for delivery. Obviously I can’t wait 6 weeks so I tried everywhere that “carries” these pumps no one actually had one in hand. So I went back and ordered a more expensive lower output pump they supposedly do have on hand. Problem now is a bunch of the parts I already ordered are now useless and I need to order the correct parts for this setup. UGH What a pain in the rear!

    Link for the pump I just ordered.

    https://www.sprayersupplies.com/fmc-ace-pumps-a7183529

    In other news I may have found a helper for around the farm. Supposed to try and meet up with her tomorrow or the next day. I’ll let y’all know more when I know more. lol

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by  BiggKidd.
    • Hanidu-Farms

      Member
      December 4, 2023 at 5:17 pm

      Bummer on the pump but AWESOME on potential help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • BiggKidd

        Member
        December 4, 2023 at 11:10 pm

        You got that right!

        They got the new pump shipped today and it should be here day after tomorrow.

  • BiggKidd

    Member
    December 8, 2023 at 10:44 pm

    Ches and I got the pump built. It’s up the hill doing a break in run with no load right now. I’m hoping the foot valve shows up tomorrow before we have to use it otherwise we will have to rig it up with a 1 inch pickup line instead of the 1 1/4 it needs. Amazingly the 12+ year old, new in the box engine cranked on the first pull! I was shocked to say the least. Went ahead and used the 13hp Honda clone engine even though it’s probably overkill for this pump. Certainly shouldn’t be short on power!

  • potpourri_of_life

    Member
    December 9, 2023 at 12:49 am

    Help is always good!! I hope that works out.

    We all experience glitches in our attempts, yet not giving up is what gets us through, while allowing us to think outside the box!!

    • BiggKidd

      Member
      December 9, 2023 at 5:09 am

      Help is good and she jumped right in with both feet learning and doing on the fly! She ran the grinder for a half hour or so and then helped get engine bolted to the frame along with the pump itself. Between the two of us we can just mange to move it around.

  • BiggKidd

    Member
    December 9, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    Started pumping water at 12:45 we’ll see how long it takes to fill a 1500 gallon tank at 1/2 to 3/4 throttle. Not sure exactly where I set it before hauling arse to make sure it was working! I’ll post pics once I can get them emailed to my computer, takes a long while around here!

    • BiggKidd

      Member
      December 10, 2023 at 12:54 am

      The throttle kept pulling itself back so no idea on how long it takes or how fast it pumps. From the way it looks it’s less than the old roller pump was! It also used 4-5 times the fuel! But that may have something to do with it sitting and running but not running fast enough to pump. I’ll just have to wait and see how this shakes out I guess. It’s also having to pull through an undersized intake pipe since the 1 1/4″ foot valve got delayed in shipping. I hope switching from a 1″ intake or suction pipe to a 1 1/4″ speeds things up some.

      • WrecIt

        Member
        December 13, 2023 at 5:37 pm

        Not sure of your daily water needs so this may or may not be helpful but maybe your thinking to modern (which we are all guilty of from time to time but modern convenience is nice lol)

        Would you have room to set up an elevated tank at garden level (say 500 gallon) and use 1 or 2 ram pumps to fill the tank. Granted a ram pump won’t give you the instant volume you need but they pump 24/7/365 with no energy consumption then you can either gravity feed when you need water out of the tank or can put a small pump at the tank.

        Again probably a dumb idea but thought I would throw it out there

      • potpourri_of_life

        Member
        December 13, 2023 at 5:49 pm

        👍 Thank you for sharing this info. Certainly something my husband and I can review and consider this spring.

      • BiggKidd

        Member
        December 14, 2023 at 3:04 am

        Before anyone acts on this let me see if a smaller 5-6 hp engine will run the pump because with the 13hp it burns WAY to much fuel for the little water it pumps. Originally I had ordered a pump twice this size but no one had one in stock and I needed it NOW not in 6-12 weeks!

      • BiggKidd

        Member
        December 14, 2023 at 3:01 am

        There’s just not enough fall to the creek to activate a ram pump. I own about 180 feet and in that distance it only falls maybe 6 inches! BUT it’s 24 feet wide and 12-18 inches deep. I can however make ethanol and convert the gas engine to that fuel. We fill a 1500 gallon tank and gravity feed from there.

      • WrecIt

        Member
        December 14, 2023 at 12:42 pm

        At 6 inch drop it sounds more like a pond than a creek lol. Hoping that your planned fix make this your final fix/upgrade. Double and triple work drives me nuts and I do it way to much

      • BiggKidd

        Member
        December 14, 2023 at 1:51 pm

        Yeah I despise doing the same job several times on account of not being able to get the parts I ordered the first time.

  • BiggKidd

    Member
    January 22, 2024 at 11:24 pm

    New water pump got caught in the last flood. It’s seldom that creek floods but it not only flooded but got up over top of the pump and filled the engine full of water. Brand new engine only been run one time. After getting all the water out including a cylinder full (exhaust valve was open) I was able to get it running after a few hours of fooling with it. There must have been a quart of water between the cylinder and crankcase. So it has another oil change and I also switched the pickup pipe from 1 inch to the 1.25 the pump calls for. That did seem to increase the flow of the pump considerably!

    We have to lift the pump up on some sort of legs before it can flood again. Two – two and a half feet should about do it.

    • Hanidu-Farms

      Member
      January 22, 2024 at 11:27 pm

      It has been ALL uphill with this new pump!

      • BiggKidd

        Member
        January 23, 2024 at 1:43 am

        I’m just thankful I was able to get it running again.

  • BiggKidd

    Member
    January 23, 2024 at 4:02 pm

    Pulled the drain plug on the pump right at dark last night. Went back this morning to continue pumping only to find running water can and does freeze! We’re talking a 3/8 stream shooting ten feet froze soilid with water still in the pipe and pump! Color me surprised.

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